Comline wins Large Business of the Year award

Comline Auto Parts (Comline) is delighted to have been named Large Business of the Year at the inaugural Bedfordshire Business Awards during a formal ceremony held at Bedford Corn Exchange on Thursday 17th November.

The Luton-based supplier of European, Japanese and Korean aftermarket parts fought off tough competition from an initial 200 entries, nominated by members of the Bedfordshire community, to emerge victorious and claim this prestigious award.

The awards were launched by Bedfordshire on Sunday and backed by headline sponsor Barclays to recognise hardworking, successful businesses that achieve success in the community.

Bedfordshire Business Awards 2016  Large Business of the Year Comline Auto Parts - pic Andy Handley
L-R: Charles Little, Director, KSK Accountants; Ruta & Leigh Davies; Richard Duxbury, MD LSN Media

The ‘Large Business’ category specifically recognised exceptional businesses operating an annual turnover in excess of £5 million. The judges were impressed by Comline’s ‘significant growth’ and close ties to the local community, including dedicated support of Luton Town Football Club.

Chief Executive of Bedfordshire Chamber of Commerce, Cheryl Smart MBE, one of the judging panel for the awards, commented: “Comline is not just a fantastic Bedfordshire business – it is a world-class operation.”

Marketing and Communications Manager, Leigh Davies, was on-hand to collect the award and said: “Comline is thrilled and privileged to be recognised by the Bedfordshire Business Awards.

“Receiving nominations from within the Bedfordshire community is hugely gratifying, and we were delighted to be shortlisted as one of the finalists. To actually come out on top ahead of some truly outstanding Bedfordshire businesses is a huge feather in the cap for Comline.”

He also congratulated all parties on a superb event: “Everyone at Comline would like to thank Bedfordshire on Sunday, and headline sponsor Barclays for this incredible award and for executing such a fantastic awards event.”

Editor of Bedfordshire on Sunday, Sarah Cox, was delighted with the first-ever Bedfordshire Business Awards: “We were bowled over by the standard of entries in our first year and were thrilled to be joined by hundreds of fantastic business on awards night.”

A short interview with Leigh Davies, recorded at Comline’s Luton headquarters and broadcast during the awards ceremony, can be viewed here:

This award is the latest in a long line of recent successes for Comline, most notably becoming a proud recipient of The Queen’s Award for Enterprise: International Trade 2016 and ranking a highly-credible 70th in The Sunday Times HSBC International Track 200 league table.

In addition to wider commercial awards, Comline has also been recognised from within the automotive aftermarket. In September, Comline was voted A1 Motor Stores Component Supplier of the Year by the members of the well-established UK buying group.

Sponsor Link: Comline Auto Parts Ltd.

First established in 1991, Comline is an independent British brand that is currently one of the fastest growing in the European automotive industry. A proven recipe for delivering consistent, reliable product quality with genuine value for-money has established Comline as a leading aftermarket brand and resulted in a series of awards and accolades, most notably The Queen’s Award for Enterprise: International Trade and a listing in the Financial Times’ FT1000 listing of Europe’s fastest growing companies.

Comline is ‘First for Filters’ and offers this core product range alongside other lines including braking, steering & suspension, clutch kits, lubricants and much more. Comline parts are trusted to perform by distributors, workshops and technicians in over 40 countries worldwide.

Tel: 01582 578865

Sponsor Link: The Parts Alliance


As the leading business group in the aftermarket, The Parts Alliance is committed to up-skilling and driving productivity in the industry through its products and services The group, which consists of the leading motor factors in the UK and Ireland, offers national strength while providing a dedication and focus on a local service to workshops and fitting stations.

The Parts Alliance specialises in the national and local supply of O.E. manufacturer branded products and support services, including training programmes, electronic cataloguing, workshop IT systems and customer services.

The Parts Alliance prides itself on promoting the aftermarket at every level through forming professional, strategic partnerships with its customers and suppliers.

For further details, including a list of The Parts Alliance members, visit

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Valeo’s autonomous vehicle completes 24 hours on the Paris Beltway in a world first

Valeo’s Cruise4U autonomous vehicle has completed 24 hours on the Paris beltway. The car logged a total of 766 km, the equivalent of driving around Paris more than 20 times, and nearly 99% of the distance and time was completed in autonomous mode, not counting breaks and changeovers.

The 35 km Paris beltway is characterised by a number of specific features that make driving particularly challenging: scooters and motorcycles driving between lanes, traffic jams, roadworks, faded road markings, priority on the right and short exit and entrance ramps. The Valeo prototype was able to process and anticipate these situations over the full 24-hour period, day or night, demonstrating its unique technological prowess.


This breakthrough innovation in mobility is the result of a unique combination of solutions: A Valeo camera; radar and laser scanner technologies arranged around the entire vehicle to form a “cocoon” able to detect any obstacles at distances from as little as 10 centimeters to as much as 200 meters or more; and a sophisticated software program that can process data in real time to effectively analyse the vehicle’s surroundings and adjust its behaviour accordingly.

The way it works is very simple: When the driver selects the automated driving mode designed and developed by Valeo, this mode then takes over driving, steering, accelerating and braking in real driving situations.

The 24 hours spent on the Paris beltway follows the approximately 21,000km driven in the United States in summer 2016 and the 4,000 km road trip taken around France in 2015. Valeo Cruise4U now has 125,000 km on the clock, 97% of which were driven in autonomous mode, making Valeo one of the most advanced companies in terms of vehicle development.

As leader of the driving assistance systems market and inventor of the Cruise4U technology, Valeo can now promote innovative active safety features and move ahead toward fully automated driving.

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IAAF eBulletin – Update

The IAAF eBulletin would like to apologise for the recent disruption in its circulation.  This was caused by technical problems beyond our control and in order to remedy the situation we have had to change over to this new format.

We would be interested in receiving any comments from readers about the new look eBulletin.  We hope that you will like the new style but please add this email address to your Safe Senders List to ensure a smooth delivery to your Inbox.

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Roadlink becomes approved supplier to GROUPAUTO/UAN

The achievement comes at the end of a very significant year for the braking and suspension parts supplier, as it has committed its future to UK remanufacturing by expanding its services with investment in a new brake caliper production facility.

GROUPAUTO and UAN distributors will experience the benefit of Roadlink’s distribution and remanufacturing processes, all of which are audited and approved to ISO9001 & ISO14001 internationally-recognised standards.

This continuous investment in systems and processes, combined with its Investor In People status, demonstrates the quality of Roadlink’s extensive range from production through to sales.

In addition to its expertise in CV braking and caliper remanufacturing, the company is the distributor for AL-KO, the European leader in original equipment (OE) trailer shock absorbers.

Roadlink’s full range of AL-KO shock absorbers provides a number of benefits including: ‘Virtually unbreakable’ construction; a special sealing system to minimise the chance of oil leaks, thereby significantly extending service life and a weight-saving and durable plastic outer cover.

Keith Sedgley, Roadlink joint managing director, said: “Our brand new remanufacturing facility demonstrates our ability to meet increased demand from customers and offers an unrivalled “confidence in supply” to GROUPAUTO and UAN distributors.

“We will work closely with distributors to ensure they are fully aware of the range and technical support available to them, along with the advantage of using our increasingly popular online catalogue, an indispensable tool for CV parts distributors and their staff.”

As one of the UK’s leading suppliers of braking products for commercial vehicles and buses, Roadlink currently offers a complete range of new and
remanufactured braking solutions, including calipers and brake shoes, as well as supplying a wide range of pads, discs and drums.

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Guidance on speed limits for car-derived vans and dual purpose vehicles

Car-derived vans are the only goods vehicles which are subject to the same speed limits as a car.

Car-derived vans
Car-derived vans are designed to weigh no more than 2 tonnes when loaded and are based on car designs (eg Ford Fiesta, Vauxhall Corsa), or the vehicle is built from a platform which has been designed to be built as a car or a van.

As a general rule, from the outside, these vehicles will look like the size of a car, but on the inside the vehicle will look like and function as a van, because there will be:

-no rear seats, rear seat belts or mountings
-a payload area with floor panel in the rear of the vehicle
-no side windows in the rear of the vehicle or if present, side windows will be opaque and fixed (with no means of opening or closing)

If you want to find out more information about the design of your vehicle and whether your van is car-derived, you can check your log book and the description in the field ‘body type’. This will tell you how the vehicle has been classified by the manufacturer.

If you believe your new vehicle is a car-derived van, but has not been registered as one, you should contact your dealer. If you have bought a second-hand vehicle you believe is car-derived, but has not been registered as one, you should contact the manufacturer.

Dual purpose vehicles
A dual purpose vehicle is a vehicle constructed or adapted for the carriage both of passengers and of goods and designed to weigh no more than 2,040 kg when unladen, and is either:

constructed or adapted so that the driving power of the engine is, or can be selected to be, transmitted to all wheels of the vehicle

permanently fitted with a rigid roof, at least one row of transverse passenger seats to the rear of the driver’s seat and will have side and rear windows – there must also be a minimum ratio between the size of passenger and stowage areas.

See The Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986 (Part 1 Regulation 3) for the full definition.

SMMT expects new car market to dip in 2017 and 2018

The new car market is set to close the year 1.7% ahead of 2015 with 2.678 million units registered, according to the latest quarterly forecast from the SMMT.

Last year saw a new record of 2.634m new cars registered, the first time the new car market had surpassed the 2.6 million registrations mark.

The trade body also said it expects registrations to then fall for the next two years with volumes down -5% in 2017 to 2.544m and down 1.3% in 2018 to 2.510 million.

However, the SMMT is forecasting growth for LCV registrations in 2016 up 1.6% to 377,800; before dropping by 5.9% in 2017 to 355,500 units; followed by a 0.3% rise in 2018 to 356,500 units.

The quarterly SMMT forecasts are based on research it receives from market analysts and the next one will be published in January 2017.

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Employment Law Update – Tribunal News & Workers on Boards

Employment Tribunals to Be Online

HM Courts and Tribunals Service has announced that it intends to introduce an online database of employment tribunal decisions in Autumn 2016.

Employment tribunal judgements and written reasons are entered in a publicly available register. However, the register for England and Wales can currently only be searched and accessed by personally attending the employment tribunal judgement register office at Bury St Edmunds.

The new database will only include new employment tribunal judgements with a decision to be taken at a later date in relation to judgements made prior to the introduction of the online service.

The introduction of an online search facility means employment tribunal judgments will, in practice, be readily available to a wide audience which will include not only the parties and their representatives, but also the media, other businesses, employees and job applicants.

Government Backtracks re Workers on Boards

Mrs May said at the CBI Conference that the forthcoming Green Paper will be a “genuine consultation” with businesses on “what works” for employee representation.

The Prime Minister has ruled out forcing companies to appoint workers to boards or create continental-style dual boards, despite her earlier complaint that too many directors are drawn from the same narrow social and professional circles.

Speaking at the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) Annual Conference, Theresa May said that the Government would publish a Green Paper within weeks that will set out reforms to shareholder accountability, executive pay and employee representation.

She told business leaders: “I can categorically tell you that this is not about mandating works councils, or the direct appointment of workers or trade union representatives on boards.

“This is not about creating German-style binary boards which separate the running of the company from the inputs of shareholders, employees, customers or suppliers. Our unitary board system has served us well and will continue to do so.”

The update will please many businesses, who have privately lobbied against direct employee representation, citing fears over confidentiality and diluting boards’ primary responsibility to act in the interests of shareholders.

For advocates of the idea, Mrs May’s comments will represent a U-turn. As she campaigned for the Conservative leadership in July she pledged that “we’re going to have not just consumers represented on company boards, but workers as well”.

Mrs May said at the CBI Conference that the forthcoming Green Paper will be a “genuine consultation” with businesses on “what works” for employee representation.

She signalled a less radical approach but insisted reforms would ensure employees’ voices are heard in the boardroom.

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